Waste-to-wealth for valorization of food waste to hydrogen and methane towards creating a sustainable ideal source of bioenergy

Ngoc Bao Dung Thi, Chiu Yue Lin, Gopalakrishnan Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


This review provides the insights for the conversion of food waste (FW) to electricity and heat energy and also to use FW as a source of bioenergy. The evaluations of bioenergy from FW conversion to commercially fulfil the energy demands of various nations were elucidated. Five countries attained the highest heating values from annual FW were: Canada - 4915 MJ/capita, The Netherlands - 3367 MJ/capita, the United Kingdom - 1497 MJ/capita, Japan - 1608 MJ/capita, and Sweden - 1278 MJ/capita. It is also shown that some countries could derive electricity from annual FW production and contribute a high percentage of total national electricity generation, such as The Netherlands - 2.9% (164.4 kW h/capita), Canada - 1.35% (240 kW h/capita), Japan - 0.92% (78.5 kW h/capita), the United Kingdom-1.31% (73.1 kW h/capita), and Ireland-1.23% (68 kW h/capita). Moreover, an analysis of Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) was used to assess three forms of FW bio-treatment processes including composting, anaerobic digestion, fermentation for bio-hythane gas, and thereby illustrating future directions in the development of fermenting FW to hydrogen and methane. The SWOT analysis indicates that the fermentative hydrogen and methane production was a promising option for commercializing FW into bioenergy. However, there is also a need to implement specific prevailing policies and regulations to stimulate this environment-friendly form of bioenergy production technology. Based on the above considerations, a conceptual model to develop the FW fermentation of bioenergy production was suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 20

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial supports provided by Ton Duc Thang University and Feng Chia University. Gopalakrishnan Kumar particularly wishes to thank the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS ID 26-04209 and JSPS ID 25740056) for its financial support for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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